I saw an alarming post on a photography forum I follow on Facebook this afternoon. The photographer was describing how a client of hers was being somewhat nit-picky. From the screenshot she posted of their conversation, the client seemed to be unpleased with what was received as far as quantity was concerned. The photographer described how, upon delivery, the client received 1,000 EDITED photos(thats a BUNCH) and was requesting ALL of the raw frames she took unedited. " I wish we had spent more time on the important shots", the client says.The photographer very kindly reached out to the forum for advice on what to say and how to go about it professionally. She also asked if she should give in and do what the client asks, or stick to her guns and not.
I read the comments. Some were outrageous and weren't helping the situation whatsoever, but some had very valid points. I pondered on whether I should chime in or not and I decided not to, but instead, write a blog post about it. NO photographer wants to be in a situation where their client is unhappy. It is actually one of the worst feelings as an artist. However, it comes with the territory.
Personally, and in my experience, I feel that there is a common ground that can be agreed on in all situations like this. There isn't a book with articles on the correct amount of photos you should deliver to your client and there shouldn't be. Normally, I deliver about 600-700 photos on a wedding day, but thats my taste and what works for me. However, wedding photos are supposed to tell a story of all moments of the day and numbers do not determine that. Whether that be culminated into 200 photos.....or 800......or in this case, even 1,000 photos. They should be able to tell a story that words can't through the quality of work you provide. Do I believe that photographers should only get the important things and let the details fall by the wayside? Absolutely not!! Get as many shoe shots, and dress hanging shots that you can stand. Remember though, we as photographers are making the memories for them.. They can not see grandpa's face light up as the bride walks down the aisle or little cousin johnny sticking his finger in the icing of the wedding cake. Clients may not understand what our job entails behind the scenes, so it is up to us to relay a professional, and informative explanation as to to why we can't give out raw photos. Bring them in on what you do in your efforts, all they need is an udnerstanding.We must consider that these photos WILL be the memory of their wedding when they are 85 years old.Give them quality. Quality that tells a story through art.
For the client, understand photographers will NOT give you something that will not represent you or their brand in the best light. Requesting for unedited, raw photos is almost a no across the board. Lots of technical things have to go into culling and scanning through photos that didn't make the cut in the first place. Most of them are test shots, blinking eyes, and outtakes of jumping shots.. Not quite something we want to put in a wedding album. When we send you a wedding album, that means we have gone through over 2-3 thousand photos finding ones that puts you in your BEST light, while making a cohesive story that would be understood in an ever changing society. Long hours, frustrations, coffee breaks, and kleenex boxes go into making your timeline special. If you as a bride or groom are concerned about how many photos will be delivered to you, bring those kinds of questions to your consultation with your photographer and have it in writing (Photographers too), so that there won't be a panic from both parties post-delivery.
We as photographers are here to help you, and are beyonddddd honored that you would want us to be there for your special day. Our hearts sink to the ground when our clients are unhappy. Respect the art, and how much time, and emotion goes into pleasing you as the client. Photographers, create a story from start to finish with every detail. Clients are beautiful people who can only have this day ONCE. Quality is ALWAYS more important than quantity!
Hope this helps across the board! <3